David Crosby Under Fire For 'Meh' Comment About Eddie Van Halen

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

October 13, 2020

UPDATE as of October 14: David Crosby says that his initial Tweet about Eddie Van Halen was "not cool" and he meant no offense. Croz admitted in a follow up that he "didn't even remember [Eddie] just died or I would have kept my mouth shut...I do make mistakes..."


David Crosby seems like a nice man, so why do all his former bandmates hate his guts?

Well, when asked via Twitter for his thoughts on the late-guitar innovator Eddie Van Halen, Crosby replied, "Meh ...."

An insensitive response, especially considering the world was only a few days into mourning the rock icon's passing at the time. As other Twitter users began scolding Crosby for his curtness, the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer did what he himself would admit he's best at: he made it worse.

"Hendrix changed the world of guitar," Crosby doubled-down. "Nobody else really...look I get it..many of you loved Van Halen ....and the one time I met he was nice....and he was talented ...meh to me means I don't care that much ...and I don't ...doesn't mean he wasn't good ,he was but not for me."

Saying Eddie Van Halen was good at guitar is like saying David Crosby dabbled in cocaine. But suggesting that Jimi Hendrix was the last person to change the world of guitar is factually wrong.

That Crosby singled out Hendrix, one guitar innovator he actually played with, is indicative of his lack of perspective in this space.

Eddie pushed the boundaries of what guitarists thought was possible to do on the instrument using only two hands. The bi-dextral tapping fretboard method was a rarely used technique before Van Halen. After Van Halen it became something new rock guitar players felt like they had to learn.

Guitars weren't even built the same after Van Halen hit the scene. Eddie was a serial tinkerer and assembled numerous guitars himself over the years in his search for an instrument that felt and sounded the best. Once guitar companies got hip to the features Eddie liked, they copied them and incorporated them into the designs of their own brands.

At the very least, electric guitar music in the '80s was a direct result of Eddie's influence.

Crosby's remark started a firestorm in his Twitter mentions and numerous fellow rockers took the singer-songwriter to task for his insensitivity.

L.A. Guns' Tracii Guns was among the first to fire back.

"There are better ways to say you don't care for someone's music," Guns wrote in reply. "That was very disrespectful. And yes straight out f--k you and your smug answer."

Twisted Sister's Dee Snider offered his support to Guns. "Agreed. That said, I've always hated [David Crosby] AND his mustache."

Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick was less dismissive of Crosby, but equally frustrated by his terseness.

"I appreciate [David Crosby] too much for this to get in the way, but a much better answer would have been: 'I know he meant a lot to so many but his sound & style just weren't my thing.'"

Skolnick continued, pointing out that one of Crosby's contemporaries, Patti Smith, wasn't much of a Van Halen fan, still she posted a poem for the late-guitarist.

After much public shaming, Crosby tacitly admitted that he failed to properly express himself. Someone offered an alternate-universe way Crosby could have said the same thing, only respectfully.

Croz commented that it was indeed "Better."

Photo: Getty Images

Van HalenDavid CrosbyCrosby, Stills & NashCrosby, Stills, Nash & Young
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